Markese Stepp watched Irish Invasion from the bench on Saturday night.
The 6-foot, 205-pound running back from Indianapolis apparently got comfortable with the surroundings. Stepp committed to Notre Dame on Sunday afternoon, giving the Irish their second commitment in the Class of 2018 following quarterback Phil Jurkovec.
The standout from Indianapolis Cathedral – the alma mater of former Irish safety John Turner and where current commit Pete Werner will play this fall – had expected to make a fall decision.
Instead, Stepp changes the perspective on two recruiting classes for Notre Dame, giving the Class of 2018 a four-star jolt and recalibrating how the Irish can approach running backs in the Class of 2017. Notre Dame hasn’t landed a running back in the senior class and figured to be selective after taking four – Josh Adams, Dexter Williams, Deon McIntosh and Tony Jones Jr. – in the previous two classes.
“Thanking God for all he has done and every coaching staff that has extended me a football scholarship offer,” Stepp tweeted. “However, today after many prayers and conversations with my family, I have officially decided to conclude my recruiting process and verbally commit to the University of Notre Dame.
“I’m beyond excited to become part of the legacy in South Bend.”
Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Missouri, Tennessee and Wisconsin all offered. Ohio State had also been showing interested by hadn’t made a full move on Stepp.
The running back had planned a fall decision with visits potentially going to Michigan State, Ohio State, Alabama, Clemson, Florida State and Virginia Tech.
Instead, Notre Dame has another marquee commitment on the board and an in-state advertisement for the program.